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Lemony-Strawberry Birthday Cake

by Cook | Taste | Live on May 27, 2013, 2 comments

I have been living in the UK since September. And I really enjoy my life here; new friends, new experiences, new places etc etc. But there are some days that I just wish I could be back in Athens! Just for a few hours.. ok maybe for a whole day! That’s how I feel today. For most of you today is just a typical, boring Monday but for me the 27th of May is a day of celebration. My beautiful big-little-sis is turning !#. I won’t reveal her age but I will say that even though she is older than me (‘big’), I always look after her (‘little’). Happy birthday to the best sister anyone could ask for.

Lemon-Strawberry Birthday Cake

Happy birthday to my big-little-sister, the one who encourages and inspires me, the one who interferes and irritates me but at the same time defends me and brings me back to reality.

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The one who watches a movie with me even if she has already watched it. The one who always checks if I have turned off the iron and the stove. (!)

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The one who chats and listens to me until 3.00 a.m. on a weekday.  The one who is turning 31 today (hehe I couldn’t resist) but looks like 25 – people seeing us together always ask ‘Who is younger?’ (ME of course!)

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This is the first time I have ever baked a layer cake. But definitely not the last. This is a promise M., as soon as I come back to Athens I will make one only for you. A huge one (because this one is tiny – 12.5 cm cake tin)

I am sure you will love this cake. It’s a soft lemony cake, with lemon curd, strawberry preserve and a lemony cream cheese frosting! Strawberries & lemon, sweet & sour! The perfect balance! Just like us (I know I am the sour one.. :) )

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I just wish I could pop over to Athens today, so we could eat some cake together while drinking our coffee. Unfortunately, I have to wait just for a few more weeks.

Happy Birtday Little Sis.!

Lemony-Strawberry Birthday Cake

For the lemon cake
Recipe from Sweetapolita
(Yield: One 3-layer, 5-inch round cake)
Ingredients
  • 85 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 135 g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 15 ml lemon juice
  • 1.5 ml pure vanilla extract
  • 15 g lemon zest
  • 90 ml plain yogurt, at room temperature
Instructions

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
1. Grease and fully line three 5-inch round cake pans.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer cream together the butter and 100 g of the sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy – the mixture should be pale and increased in volume, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the eggs yolks one at a time, beating well between each addition.
5. Add lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest and beat until incorporated.
6. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Then add yoghurt and continue beating until everything is well incorporated.
7. Put egg whites into another bowl (be sure it’s grease free) and beat on medium speed until foamy. Raise speed to medium-high. Slowly beat in the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
8. Fold meringue into batter until just combined, and divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans.
9. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean.
Leave the cakes to cool completely before removing from the tin.

For the Lemon Curd
(makes 1 cup of lemon curd, enough for a 5-inch layer cake)
Ingredients
  • 60 ml cold water
  • 113 g sugar
  • 50 g cornstarch
  • 60 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20 g finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 40 g butter
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions

1. In a small saucepan, whisk together water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until cornstarch is dissolved.
2. Add the yolk, lemon juice and zest and and whisk until incorporated
3. Place the saucepan over medium heat.
4. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
5. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
6. Remove saucepan from heat and add the butter.
7. Whisk until smooth.
8. Line with a plastic wrap and allow to cool and thicken at room temperature.

For the strawberry compote:
Ingredients
  • 150 g strawberry
  • 100 g sugar
  • 10 ml lemon juice
Instructions

1. Combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a small sauce pan.
2. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves and then bring to a simmer.
3. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 20 minutes or until jam consistency.

 
For the Cream Cheese frosting:
Ingredients
  • 185 g cream cheese
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 150 ml extra thick double cream
  • 2 ml vanilla extract
Instructions

1. In a medium bowl beat double cream until stiff peaks form; set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and beat for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
3. Then fold in whipped cream and beat gently for a further 2 minutes until smooth and light.

To assembe:
1. Place one layer of cake on the serving plate.
2. Using a pastry bag pipe a frosting dam around the perimeter. This dam will prevent lemon curd from seeping out.
3. Spread with lemon curd and 3 teaspoons of jam.
4. Top with another cake and repeatat.
5. Place the final cake on top and cover with half the cream cheese frosting.
6. Put the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up slightly.
7. Remove from fridge and cover with the remaining frosting.
8. Decorate the cake with fresh strawberries on top.

Note: One of my cake layers was too thick, so I tried to split it. The result was a fourth really thin layer. I suggest that you use a digital kitchen scale to weigh the batter and ensure three even layers.


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